There are so many changes that happen once the little one turns one. Many babies start learning how to walk around this time, becoming even more adventurous and curious than ever! It's hard not to look at them and wonder what they will look like when they grow up as their appearance rapidly changes into that of a toddler.
At this age, babies are developing ridiculously fast. In fact, Parents.com claims that children grow faster during their first year of life than any other point. They quickly go from little gurgling, uncoordinated newborns, to full-fledged little people, complete with a unique personality. Incidentally, this can also be around the time most moms start to finally feel like themselves again.
As hormones begin to even out, and you find yourself chasing a rambunctious one-year-old all day long, you may also find yourself enjoying a little more freedom as well.
There are so many "do not's" in the first year of your baby's life. Do not feed them this, don't do that. Once they hit that twelve-month mark, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. From introducing new foods to taking the beloved pacifier away, there's a lot on your plate around this time. Their immunity has built up, and they're capable of doing so much more than you could have imagined just a few short months ago. But with these changes comes a fun, bright toddler that will knock your socks off every day with their wit and excitement.
15 Introducing Foods One At A Time
When your baby begins eating purées, it is generally recommended for you to follow the "four day wait rule," a guideline that states you should wait four days before introducing a new food. The four-day wait rule was designed to help parents pinpoint the cause of any allergic reactions. After months of feeding your infant, you will likely have a strong understanding of how they react to specific foods. By the time they are 12 months old, it will no longer be necessary to rigorously monitor their intake, as by that point in their development they will have eaten a plethora of different foods, and will be ready for more complex tastes.
It is important to note that there is some controversy surrounding the four-day wait rule. According to Momtastic,
"Studies are now showing that waiting to introduce allergenic foods might not have any impact on whether a child develops a food allergy, the use of the four-day rule is becoming obsolete and outdated.
There are many pediatricians who are now suggesting that babies may be introduced to a variety of foods, all at once, even during the first days of introducing solid foods."
Offering a variety of flavors might help your infant develop their palate, and help deter them from becoming a picky eater later in their development.
14 Hi Honey!
The American Academy of Pediatrics and The World Health Organization advise against giving honey to infants under twelve months old. AAP's Pediatric Nutrition Handbook says "Raw or unpasteurized honey (Infants younger than 12 months should avoid all sources of honey)."
So not only should you avoid the obvious, like adding straight up honey to your baby's bottles or sandwiches, but you should even avoid any candy or treats that contain honey. The reason? Botulism.
In many cultures, honey is still being given to babies under one year old, and many feel that it's not a problem. It's something you should discuss with your pediatrician. The truth is, you really should just avoid it. Why introduce the risk when you don't have to, right? Botulism can cause paralysis, and in some cases, it can even be fatal.
Once your baby hits twelve months old, their immunity and digestive system is built up, and better adapted to handling small amounts of botulinium spores. It's still suggested that you don't overdo it on the honey though, as it's full of sugar and can cause tooth decay. Make it a fun little treat, and make sure you brush your child's teeth afterwards.
13 Worrying About SIDS
SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome is a an ominous topic, and one that scares the bejesus out of every parent. The good news is that rates of SIDS cases are dropping significantly. According to babycenter.com, "the number of infant deaths from SIDS has declined by more than half since 1992."
Parents of 12-month-olds can rest easy, as about ninety percent of SIDS cases are of infants six months old or younger, and your little one is no longer at risk for SIDS by their first birthday.
Before your little one is one year old, however, strict sleep safety precautions should be taken to reduce their risk for SIDS. Although you will no longer need to worry about SIDS, there are new concerns that may arise at this age. Your little one may attempt to climb out of their crib, and some one-year-olds may be successful in this endeavor.
With newfound mobility and independence comes the risk of your one-year-old falling from their crib. It is important to low the bed of the crib to an appropriate level and remove any objects they can use to help them climb over the barrier of the crib. At any rate, you can have some piece of mind that at this age SIDS should no longer be on the forefront of your mind.
12 Holding Baby All The Time
Let's face it, one-year-olds are heavy! If you want to save your back and have enough energy to get through your busy day, you need to put them down and give yourself a break. Sometimes this is easier said than done. It is hard not to pick up your little one when they are reaching up at you with those cute little hands, but it is important for them to learn a little independence. Besides, your back will thank you for putting down that thirty-pound sack of potatoes for a while.
Not to mention, your little one will be eager to explore more now than ever. It's a problem that I've heard time and time again. Mama isn't ready to get over the baby phase yet, but the baby is ready to take off and get into trouble! It's almost enough to make you wish you could go back to the newborn phase. How many days of chasing your baby around and keeping them away from the trash can you handle? Still, as hard as it is, it's an important step in the right direction.
This isn't to say that you should never baby-wear anymore. That would be ridiculous! Every child is different. Some babies might never want to be worn again by this point, while others may be asking for it for a couple more years. Just listen to your own body, and listen to what your child wants. Find a happy balance.
11 Trying Out Eggs
Eggs are one of the most feared allergenic foods, as they have the potential to cause anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that causes the child's bronchioles to constrict, their airway to close, and can be fatal without immediate treatment.
They among the most common allergy-causing foods for young children, so the concerns surrounding the consumption of eggs are not unfounded. The egg white is the allergenic portion of the egg, so it is recommended to try feeding your little one the yolk before letting them eat the entire egg. According to parents.com, you can begin giving them egg yolks at around nine months of age. By the time they reach twelve months old,
it is recommended to begin incorporating eggs in their diet, but the first time they eat them you should monitor them closely.
Parents.com also states that your child may have a bad reaction the first time they eat eggs, "but these are more likely food sensitivities than actual allergies." If your child gets an upset tummy with symptoms such as gas or vomiting, it is most likely due to sensitivity. If this happens just wait a little longer before feeding them, but if the get hives, swelling, or wheezing you should avoid them.
10 Being A Homebody
Your baby will most likely have experienced one or more illnesses at this point in their development, and as a result, they will have a stronger immune response. They will be stronger and ready to explore more of the world.
It is normal for parents to worry about their little ones getting sick, as they are much more susceptible to disease than we are, but it is important to expose them to a different environment to ensure they continue to develop resistance to the multitude of disease-causing pathogens out there. Will they get sick? Probably at some point, but it will be better for them in the long run, as their immune system will be better prepared for when they reach school age.
At this age, your little one will also appreciate new experiences more and will have a longing to see new things. They will be excited to experience new places, and traveling will help stimulate their mind, which will only aid in their development. You may have distant family that your little one has yet to meet, and by this point, they will be ready to make the trip to see them. So with all of that being said, get out of that house and get out there, it'll be good for both you and your little one!
9 Using A Baby Swing
At the latest, you can stop using your baby swing when your baby is eight to ten months old. However, most babies stop needing their swing to nap long before this. By eight months old, some babies may even be too heavy for the swing to work effectively. Your 12-month-old will most likely have not desire to sit in any type of swing or chair for an extended period of time, as they have recently discovered the freedom that comes with increased mobility, and they will want to move around and explore their environment.
By this time in your little one's development, it may be time to put your swing in storage, sell it, or pass it down to someone else.
Selling it to a second-hand store is always a good option because we all know raising a child is not cheap, and that money can go to other things they need.
I speak from personal experience, as I have traded or sold many of my little one's old toys, clothes, and other things to help me purchase new age-appropriate items. Another option is to donate your old swing, there are many new moms out there who do not have the financial means to purchase a swing of their own, so donating is a great way to give back to the community.
8 Burping After Feeding
According to parents.com, burping becomes less necessary when your baby begins to eat solid foods. As I mentioned earlier in this article, by this point in your little one's development they will have been eating a plethora of solid foods for a while.
As such, their risk for developing gastric air bubbles will be much lower, since they are no longer getting all of their nutrition from a nipple, whether it be from a bottle or their mother's breast. If you choose to breastfeed your little one past the twelve-month mark, it may be necessary to burp them occasionally, but it will likely not have to be after every feeding.
Some twelve-month-olds may have gastrointestinal issues, especially after eating certain foods. These little ones may sometimes need to be burped even though they are older. Even so, by the twelve-month mark, your twelve-month-old will not need to be burped to prevent potential tummy discomfort, instead, they may need a few pats to help expel gas from a tummy that is already upset. For most parents, however, burping will become a thing of the past long before the twelve-month mark. So, you can get rid of those burping cloths and start focusing on everything else that comes with raising your precious child.
7 Using A Shopping Cart Cover
When most babies start sitting up on their own, parents typically will bring the good ol' shopping cart cover with them everywhere they do. It keeps the baby cozy, and more importantly, it protects them from germs. Researchers at the University of Arizona sampled the bacteria found on 85 shopping carts. Their findings were enough to convince shopping cart cover haters everywhere change their minds.
They found that the shopping cart handles had exponentially more bacteria than the results collected from 100 different bathrooms, which included toilet seats and flush handles.
Reader's Digest had this to say, "The shopping carts were found to harbor some of the most painful microbial monsters, such as diarrhea-causing Campylobacter and the potentially deadly Salmonella. In the sample of 85 random shopping carts, a whopping 50 percent were found to carry E. coli, and 72 percent contained coliform bacteria. This level of coliform suggests that fecal matter is involved in the contamination of most shopping carts."
So, while shopping carts are disgusting, even for healthy adults, they're extremely dangerous for little babies. Once your child is one year old, the concern drops significantly, though it's still suggested that you wipe off the cart with an antibacterial wipe before use.
6 Two Naps A Day
You may begin to notice your child is taking shorter morning naps. This is normal for your 12-month-old, and it may indicate you need to put them down for one nap a day instead of two. Every child is different, so of course, if your little one still seems sleepy after they've had a nap, they may need another. But typically, around this time most babies will start to transition to only one nap.
Think of it this way: Babies that are one year old and are placed in daycare are typically put down for one long 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the day. When their parents pick them up, they may take a short 30-minute nap on the way home, though sometimes they do not. If you stay at home with your little one and they thrive on two smaller naps a day, that's perfectly fine.
You don't need to conform to the schedule of a baby going to daycare. Just be on the lookout for signs that your little one wants to cut back to one nap a day. Are they fighting you when you lay them down for the second time? Are they staying up way past their bedtime? Do they seem cranky from oversleeping? Watch for these cues, and make adjustments as needed.
5 Giving Bottles
By the time your baby is twelve months old, it is generally recommended for you to get rid of the bottle completely. Every baby is different, but many babies are successful with bottle cessation by six to nine months of age.
The mother should begin to plan ways to phase out feeding with a bottle by the nine-month mark, and by the twelve-month mark, the bottle should become a thing of the past.
There are many health concerns surrounding prolonged bottle feeding. According to momlovesbest.com, these concerns include tooth decay, obesity, iron deficiency, and crooked teeth. Studies have even shown that babies bottle-fed after twelve months are twice as likely to need orthodontic treatment later in life.
One major problem with bottles is the comfort they provide your little one. This can make the bottle a hard habit to break, both for the baby and the parent. It is especially important to break them of their bottle habit if they need the bottle to sleep. It is recommended that you do not allow your baby to take their bottle to sleep, as it increases their risk of tooth decay and ear infections. To be on the safe side, start planning to ween your little one the bottle early to prevent problems later on in their development, and if they are twelve months old come up with a plan to get them off of it for good.
4 Using A Bottle Warmer
Not only can you get rid of your little one's bottles, you can also put away the bottle warmer for good as well. Your twelve-month-old has most likely already made the transition from formula or breastmilk to cow's milk unless they are still breastfeeding, which is completely fine.
But unlike with formula and refrigerated breastmilk, there is no need to warm their sippy cup, or bottle if they are still using one. According to livestrong.com, "Whether to warm the bottle at all is completely a personal preference and some parents feed their baby room-temperature or cool milk right from the start."
So, there will be no negative effect of taking the bottle warmer out of the picture completely at any age, but at twelve months it is especially unnecessary to have a bottle warmer around. Your little one is already getting a large portion of their daily calorie intake requirements from solid foods, so it doesn't make sense to tack on warming their milk on to all of the cooking and food prep you'll be doing.
If they are still getting breastmilk, heating the milk could denature proteins and other nutrients that your baby would otherwise ingest. Besides all of that, a lot of twelve-month-olds end up preferring room temperature or cold milk anyway.
3 Using Formula Or Breastmilk
Up until your baby is 12 months old, they rely on breastmilk or formula as their main source of nutrition. If you choose to continue on after that point, that's absolutely fine. Just know that after that point, they need to start focusing on solids as their main source, with the breast or bottle being secondary.
Babies under twelve months old are unable to digest cow's milk because it contains high levels of minerals and protein that are taxing on their immature kidneys. Not to mention, cow's milk doesn't contain the appropriate amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients present in breastmilk or formula.
Once your baby is twelve months old, however, they can make the switch to cow's milk. Whole milk is what's recommended. If you choose to use formula or breastfeed at this point, make sure you do your research and talk to your pediatrician to ensure your baby is getting everything they need to continue growing and developing.
Just because the majority of women switch to cow's milk at this age, does not mean that you have to.
Just know that your baby has made it to the point where their little tummy can now handle the switch.
2 Feeding Purees
While some parents opt for baby led weaning, the majority of first time moms will feed their baby purees as their first form of solids. After your child reaches twelve months old, and they have a few teeth for chewing, you can absolutely start introducing them to finger foods.
According to SFGate, "Knowing when to stop pureed foods -- usually around 1 year of age -- is important for helping your baby develop chewing and swallowing skills. Your baby will give you certain clues that indicate he’s ready for solid and finger foods. These cues might include picking up foods with his thumb and forefinger, easily transferring items from one hand to the other and moving his mouth in a chewing motion. Your baby will also be ready to stop eating pureed foods as he develops more teeth and gains more control of his tongue."
So, you have to watch your baby for cues and get a feel for what they can handle. If you're unsure, you can always talk to your pediatrician. It's rare that a baby will be fed only purees after one year old, but sometimes it can take them a little longer to develop the skills necessary to handle finger foods. Don't worry, just let your baby take the lead, and always make sure you cut their food up into small pieces.
1 Giving A Pacifier For Comfort
When it comes to breaking your little one of bad oral fixation habits, bottles and pacifiers go hand-in-hand. Just like I mentioned earlier in this article regarding bottles, prolonged use of pacifiers can lead to a number of health issues. According to knowyourteeth.com, "Prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth and changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth."
Of course, this is easier said than done, right? Taking the paci away is regarded as a big deal in the mom community, and that's because a lot of the time it is! Your little one will not be happy with the change, but at a certain point, it becomes necessary. You can start by removing the paci during the daytime. Distract them with activities and games, or give them something to drink or eat to get their mind off of it.
If you're down to using the pacifier at night, this is where things start to get tough. Ultimately, you just have to take it away with the understanding that you're not going to get as much sleep for a few nights. Your baby will undoubtedly wake up at least once during the night in search of their beloved pacifier, which means Mommy or Daddy will need to come to the rescue if they get fussy. It will be worth it when you save money on braces in the future though!